How to Use a Singing Bowl for Meditation
A focus on productivity and mindfulness has created a lot of buzz around meditation, which has proven to reduce stress and improve focus. Effective against both anxiety and depression, meditation strengthens the mind to provide you complete control over your emotions.
However, doing meditation right is the only way to avail many of the benefits offered by this practice.
In this article, you’ll learn how to use a singing bowl for meditation.
How to Meditate with the Singing Bowl?
When you meditate, you usually focus on your breath: either the air going in and out of your nose or your chest rising and falling.
While this traditional method works, you can enhance your ability to focus and stay in the moment by using a singing bowl.
The harmonious melody created when the bowl is stuck provides a great focal point.
This is precisely why buddhist monks use a singing bowl to enhance their own meditation practice and gain enlightenment.
Benefits of using a singing bowl for meditation include:
- Harmony produced on striking the bowl provides a point to focus on.
- When the mind is distracted, you can hit the bowl to bring back your focus to the present.
- Melody produced by the bowl has a relaxing and positive effect on the brain.
- Melody has a positive impact on brain waves.
How to hold the singing bowl properly?
Although it may sound easy, many people don’t place the bowl properly, resulting in a cacophonous sound which irritates the mind. And since the bowls are made of different materials, they need to be handled differently.
Let’s look at the proper way to hold a singing bowl:
- Light bowl: hold it in your hand.
- Heavy bowl: place it on a surface.
Decide if you want to hold the bowl in your hand or place it on a surface, then proceed with the methods described below.
Hold a Singing Bowl in the Hand
It is better to hold a light singing bowl in your hand, as you’ll have to strike it with a little more force to generate the right type of melody.
Here are the tips that will help you with the same:
- Hold out the preferred hand for resting the bowl on.
- Either rest that hand on a surface such as a table or on your lap. Resting on the lap is recommended, as it lets you sit more comfortably.
- Either balance the bowl on your fingertips or place the bowl on your palm.
- Try to gently balance the bowl and feel its weight.
Note: We recommend that you remove any metal ring before beginning your meditation session, as metal rings can interfere with the sound generated by the singing bowl.
Place Singing Bowl on a Surface
Heavier singing bowls should be placed on a surface to minimize the strain from hands.
You can rest the bowl on a surface such as a table or cushion that’s in front of you. However, place the bowl as close to you as possible. Doing so minimizes the strain from your lower back and enables you to relax.
Generate Melodies with a Tibetan Singing Bowl
While you’ve already seen how to handle the singing bowl, getting the right melody depends as much on placement as on your skill. Using the striker correctly may take time, but here are some tips to help you with the same.
Strike Gently: Instead of striking with a lot of force, which will break your concentration, you should strike gently to create a harmonious melody that slowly fades away.
Strike the thickest part: when you strike the thickest part of the bowl, it generates a perfect vibrating sound that hits all the right spots.
Note: If you’ve placed the bowl in your hand, then you’ll have to strike it with a little more force than you’d have had to if the bowl was placed on a surface such as a table or cushion.
How to Alter Sounds of a Singing Bowl?
The easiest way to produce different sounds from the same singing bowl is to fill it up with water. Alter water levels until you get the sound and vibration level that helps you in relaxing easily.
How to Meditate?
Generally when meditating, it is important to focus on something for a long period of time. For instance, most people like to focus on their breath. While some may choose to focus on the inflow and outflow of air from the nose, others choose to focus on the rising and falling of their chest.
However, people often lose focus while meditating, and bringing the focus back on the breath again and again can be quite cumbersome.
To make things easier and more engaging, you can employ a singing bowl in your meditation sessions.
When meditating using a singing bowl, follow the tips provided below:
- Start out with striking the singing bowl gently.
- Focus on the sound created upon the strike.
- When you feel that the sound is about to disappear completely, hit the bowl again.
- When you’re ready to wrap up your session, gently hit the bowl one last time and open your eyes as you exhale.
An archaic practice, meditations revival can be attributed to the current movement of mindfulness and self-love. To attain mindfulness and live in the moment, you can meditate and bid adieu to stress, anxiety, and depression.
Let’s look at some of the proven benefits of meditation:
When we experience stress, our mind releases cortisol, often dubbed the stress hormone. Increased mental and physical stress is linked to higher anxiety and depression.
Higher levels of cortisol result in a higher release of cytokines, a proinflammatory chemical that damages tissues and cells.
Essentially, stress may lead to the following:
- Disrupted sleep cycle
- Lack of focus
- Reduced cognitive abilities
- Feeling sleepy in the morning and not waking up well rested
- Anxiety and depression
By helping you to focus on the present moment and distracting your mind from the worries of the past and future, meditation calms your mind and reduces stress.
Our thoughts and judgement on those thoughts are a major reason for anxiety. Not only can negative thoughts cause anxiety but also exacerbate it.
Mindfulness meditation, which teaches you to stay in the present moment and simply observe your thoughts without making a judgement on them, can help you in reducing anxiety and controlling your emotions.
Using meditation along with other coping techniques such as identifying emotions and positive thinking can help you in reducing levels of anxiety.
Generates Positive Thoughts
Positive thinking enables you to generate happiness in your life. In contrast to negative thoughts that exacerbate anxiety and depression, positive thoughts help you focus and stay committed to your life goals.
However, our minds can often stop us from thinking positively, often ruminating on the past and feeling the guilt and stress.
When you meditate, you can use visualization to create an image of the type of person you want to become and the type of thoughts that you want to let into your life. This will help you in bringing permanent change and shift your mindset towards a positive one.
May Reduce Chronic Pain
People suffering from chronic pain often rely on medicines such as:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Most of these drugs have harmful side effects, especially in the long term. For instance, NSAIDs can lead to gastro-intestinal issues, for which you may have to take additional medicines.
If the pain is bearable, then it is better to rely less on medicine.
Meditation, especially hypnosis, relieves the symptoms of chronic pain. It can build up your tolerance levels of pain and help you in diverting your mind away from the pain.
Meditation has many health benefits, such as reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. It teaches you to live in the moment and enjoy your life instead of worrying about the future or pondering upon the past. Use the tips provided in this blog post and meditate with a singing bowl to create positive change in your life.
- Which singing bowl should I purchase, a heavy one or a light one?
- Any type of singing bowl would do. A lighter singing bowl can be held in the hand while a heavier one must be rested on a surface.
- How do I increase the time for which I meditate?
- It’s all about small increments. You can start off with 5-10 minutes of meditation and increase the time by 5 minutes every 2-3 weeks.
- Are singing bowls useful for guided meditation?
- Yes. However, make sure that the guided meditation session does not have any background music that interferes with the melody of the singing bowl.